What Are People Living For?

Late at night when everyone is quiet and you cannot sleep, have you ever asked your mind and spirit this kind of question: “What are people living for?” Birth, old age, sickness, death, being separated from those you love, being put together with those you hate, being unable to find the answer, the five poisons of greed and anger and ignorance and arrogance and doubt blazing up. Human life has so much suffering, and the only refuge is death. Even the planet earth cannot avoid facing destruction one day. So then, why do people have to go through all this, and go on living in such pain?


People are always asking me: Is our fate in life created by karma or not? Is our fate in life already a fixed constant? I tell them that a “fixed constant” is the program of a mind that is already dead. People who are alive can create their causal conditions. When the mind changes, then fate changes. If you do good deeds and create good karma, you will obtain good results. If you do bad deeds and create bad karma, you will obtain bad results. All choices, behavior, and outcomes do not lie outside of the mind, so I always say: “Great virtue shapes the mind, and fate in life is created by mind.”


In the diverse human crowd, with all kinds of shapes and colors, you will see two kinds of fate. Selfish people see their own gain and loss as important, and in all their actions, they are sure to make protecting their own gains their top priority. This implies that they may tell lies, or even do things that injure others to benefit themselves. Their actions are sure to bring about aversion and defensiveness from other people. Unselfish people value things in themselves, and all they do is for the sake of doing things well, to serve other people. So even if they do not have enough capacity, and cannot do things perfectly, they are sure to win other people’s trust. If they constantly strengthen their own capacity, naturally they will be able to gain even more opportunities to serve.


I grew up in a farming village, without any special background, and without any strong economic support. I went through many things the world would see as rough patches and reverses, and even things that could be reckoned as bad luck, but these experiences were never able to shake my dream and my quest, but on the contrary, they all become steps to realizing my dream. Why was this? It was because I transformed them into nutrition for living, and with their nourishment my mind and spirit grew stronger day by day. Moreover, although I was lazy about managing my connections with people, and lazy about doing the things that intelligent people never get bored with, nevertheless many noble people still appeared in my life, and they very unselfishly provided me with a lot of help, and created many precious opportunities for me. For this, I am very grateful to them. At the same time I also understand that if I had been a selfish arrogantperson who made no attempts to make progress, these opportunities would have gone to those people who were more worthy of having them than me.


Because of this, I always say to students that there is no failure, there is only giving up. I did not have natural talent, and I was not hardworking. I just faced in a certain direction, and everyday I traveled the road I had to travel, without stopping, without wandering off, without being deceived, and finally I woke up. Sometimes there would be a girl who beckoned to me, and I could exchange a few words with her, but I did not forget the goal of my quest and run off after her. This was because I clearly knew that she would lead me toward another road. When money beckoned me, I also would not go. I always affirmed my own direction. Let’s not talk about me: even an ant who crawls along everyday for ten years will crawl along a very long way. Success is this simple. The only thing to fear is giving up, because that represents the mind’s wavering. Once the mind wavers, all the persistence will lose its meaning, and all the obstructions will appear with a strength they never had before, and you will unconsciously make many choices that are totally at odds with the choices you made before. You also might utterly lose your direction, and you might live a more and more stereotyped life, until that you are utterly wasting the precious time you are alive. When you reach old age, you might be leaning on a handrail by the riverside, blankly staring into the distance, and give a sigh. Later your children will say, Old man, you passed your life in a daze, and now that you have reached this age, you have done nothing, and you have no dreams. In the end, several decades of time are summed up in a single sentence, and then what meaning will all the ups and downs in your life have had?


Once there was a reporter who visited a shepherd boy. The reporter asked, “Why do you herd sheep?” The shepherd boy said, “To make money.” The reporter asked, “What do you want to do with the money you’ve made?” The shepherd boy said, “Marry a wife, and raise children and have grandchildren.” The reporter also asked, “In the future what do you plan to have your grandchildren do?” The shepherd boy replied, “Herd sheep.” These days many people are like this. The work hard studying in order to find a good job in the future, they find a good job in order to make money, buy a house, get married to a pretty wife. They marry a pretty wife in order to have children and bring them up well, and when the children grow up they make them study hard so they can find a good job … If this kind of life track is not revolving in a cycle, then what is it? When you talk like this, aren’t you aware that no matter how “splendid” a life you lead, you are doing no more than copying the pattern of other people’s lives, a pattern of life that will not leave any traces, or create any value?


Of course, this kind of life also has its advantages, and can satisfy this kind of person, and can yield some petty pleasures. But are you really willing to live this way just to greet your future death? Search your conscience. Late at night when everyone is quiet and you cannot sleep, have you ever asked your mind and spirit this kind of question: “What are people living for?” Birth, old age, sickness, death, being parted from those you love, being put together with those you hate, being unable to find the answer, the five poisons of greed and anger and ignorance and arrogance and doubt blazing up. Human life has so many suffering, and the only refuge is death. Even the planet earth cannot avoid facing destruction one day. So then, why do people have to go through all this, and go on living in such pain? Does it make any difference how long you live? Why can’t you close your eyes and simply meet death then and there? I believe that many people who choose suicide decide to end their own lives because they cannot answer this question. If they knew that life has countless possibilities, maybe they would not choose to abandon it. But when they have lost their physical bodies, will they have attained the liberation they wanted?


Being alive is always better than being dead, because only when you are alive can you remedy the many regrets of this lifetime, and corrected the many mistakes in your life. But the prerequisite for everything is that you must have a mind and spirit that are strong and filled with wisdom.


This is because your perception of the world is the manifestation of your mind and spirit, and all your actions are also manifestations of your mind and spirit. Take a company for example: you are aware that it is filled with intrigue and struggles for gain, that it is a fiery pit, but other people consider it full of opportunity and challenges, and think that it is a fine place for training the body and mind. Take another example: your home has ninety square meters, but you still think it is too small. But when friends visit they exclaim, “My home is half the size of yours!” If you understand this point, then you understand that everything is like dewdrops in the sunlight, like last night’s dreams: very soon it disappears, so there cannot be so much more to calculate. Only when you do not calculate so many things, will you discover that this world is full of nourishment waiting for you to absorb it, that this world is a giant treasure house.


Why do we care about so many things? Because we think our bodes are “selves,” we focus on their feelings, and in the midst of so many desires, we get deluded and lose track of our own direction. But we forget that this physical body is easily destroyed, that it is an illusory transformation. No matter how we try to cling to it, it will always be destroyed. So then, while our bodies exist, we must do things that benefit living beings. Your actions make up the value of your human life. You must realize that the existence of your physical body is like an insect flying through space, and cannot leave any traces. But the spirit upheld in your actions will detach from the fetters of your physical body and be propagated on, and become a beneficial nourishment for humankind. After we understand this point, then before our physical bodies dissolve away, we must complete the things we must do, and even establish an enduring merit helping sentient beings, in order to realize the highest value of human life.

Please Comment
© 2018 Pariwartankhabar.com
Designed by Zookti